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  1. #11
    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    Fiat actually has the second best record for Italian manufacturers (car and engine) at Indy, leading the race early and finishing second in 1912.
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 27th November 2015 at 13:30.
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  2. #12
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    I rather depends whether you consider Dallara to be an Italian make or not doesn't it?
    Last edited by D-Type; 27th November 2015 at 20:20.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Type View Post
    I rather depends whether you consider Dallara to be an Italian make or not doesn't it?
    Yes, that's why I said "car and engine". I believe Isotta-Fraschini also ran Indy in the early days but I don't remember where they ended up. Alfa Romeo provided engines in the 1980s and 90s as well without much success.
    Last edited by Stan Reid; 28th November 2015 at 00:16.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    It looks like three Ferraris were entered in the 1953 500 but none made it onto the track. Two were listed as of the 1952 type but one was powered by a 3 liter supercharged 500 hp V12 engine that apparently wasn't ready in time and project was then terminated.
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  5. #15
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    Enzo Ferrari's attitude towards Indy appears to have been ambivalent. On the one hand he would have loved to win, if only to match Maserati, but he was unwilling to commit time and resources that a multi-year plan would have required.
    The 1953 effort was pitifully weak and stood little chance of even making the show. In the light of Kurtis Kraft innovation and Offy development, (32 of 33 starters were Offy powered), only a full press effort from the factory stood any hope for success. To be fair, Ferrari had other priorities, namely the World Championship and Le Mans, it would have been extremely difficult fit to an Indy program into the month of May in 1953-54. Even a decade later, Lotus and Ford, with vastly more resources, experienced the same logistical problems.

    Perhaps Ferrari's attitude was somewhat similar to his Can Am effort with the 612P and 712P with Chris Amon. Again a half hearted attack was mounted when only a full works effort could have succeeded.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    As best I've found, the best finishes of Italian marques in the Indy 500:

    Maserati 1st
    Fiat 2nd
    Alfa Romeo 6th
    Isotta Fraschini 17th
    Ferrari 31st

    Corrections welcome
    This is my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking

  7. #17
    Senior Member Stan Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Type View Post
    In 1958 the Europeans made more of an effort with various hybrid cars. The only car designed for Indianapolis was the Maserati Eldorado Special driven by Stirling Moss which finished 4th and 5th in the first two heats but suffered a steering failure in the third. A Grand Prix Ferrari with a 3 litre engine finished 3rd driven by Musso, Hawthorn and Phil Hill. After theses two races the idea died away.
    The Lister Jaguar Special was also an Indy roadster type layout but I don't think it was ever entered for the Indianapolis 500. The 420 Eldorado Maserati roadster was actually entered for the 1959 500. It was driven by Ralph Liguori but was 4 mph too slow to qualify.
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  8. #18
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    The Lister only raced once as a single seater in the 1958 "Monzanopolis". Afterward it was cannibalised to repair Ecurie Ecosse's Lister sports car. The body ended up with cycle wings as Phil Scragg's hillclimb car.
    Duncan Rollo

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reid View Post
    Yes, Ascari finished 31st out of 33 in what was the only World Championship event in 1952 that was run under F1 rules. All the other WC GPs were run under F2 rules due to lack of F1 competition. Actually, Ascari finished 28th against the cars that were Formula One legal. The two Novis (supercharged) and the Cummins Diesel (turbocharged) were above F1s displacement limit for "compressor" engines. Since this was the only F1 points paying event in 1952 (same in 53), does that mean that Troy Ruttman was the 1952 Formula One Champion? my ip birthday wishes tneb
    Ferrari sold 3 of his redundant F1 racers American racers in 1952 and prepared one for a serious works entry in the 500 for Alberto Ascari. The cars were heavy with useless 5 speed transmissions where the hot setup was a 2 speed. The engines were powerful enough, but lacked the torque which was required here. Observers warned them about the small hubs on the cars, and Ted Halibrand even offered a set of his magnesium wheels to try, but Ferrari wasn't interested. One of the customer cars did switch to the Halibrands, as the Maserati wheel problem was still fresh in everyone's mind. Ascari did qualify with the help of a 3 carb manifold air lifted from Italy, but the customer cars failed to make the show.
    Last edited by vailiyat; 20th July 2019 at 20:28.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by D28 View Post
    I knew Farina attempted to qualify but didn't realize it included factory backing. The link is a great site for accounts of both 1952 and 56 500s. redadair https://www.redadair.com

    While Ferrari failed to impress many railbirds in 52, the same cannot be said of Ascari. His 4 qualifying laps differed by only .08 seconds and 2 were identical, a record at the time for the brickyard. Everyone was enthused by his smooth, precise approach, they hoped for a return visit.
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